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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Semiarid, Long-Term Hydrologic Observatory at the Continental Scale: the Upper Rio Grande Basin

Authors
item Hogan, J - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Vivoni, E - NEW MEXICO TECH
item Bowman, R - NEW MEXICO TECH
item Coonrod, J - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
item Thomson, B - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
item Samani, Z - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIV
item Ferre, P - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Phillips, F - NEW MEXICO TECH
item Rango, Albert
item Rasmussen, R - NATL CTR FOR ATMOS RES
item Springer, E - LOS ALAMOS NATL LAB
item Small, E - UNIV OF COLORADO, BOULDER

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2004
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Water availability is critical in arid and semiarid regions, which comprise 35 percent of the land area of the globe. In the Southwestern US, climate variability and landscape heterogeneity lead to strong gradients in hydrological processes, which in turn impact land-atmosphere interactions, ecological dynamics, biogeochemical cycles and geomorphic change. This complexity presents a fundamental challenge to our understanding of hydrology, one that is best addressed through long-term, systematic field and remote-sensing observations and numerical-model investigations. In this poster, we will present our plans to study the interaction of climate-landscape-vegetation and water using a nested set of instrumented sites within the Upper R¡o Grande, a continental-scale semiarid watershed. This complex watershed extends from the snow-dominated headwater basins in San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, through the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, to the desert valley alluvial basins southeast of El Paso, Texas. As part of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) plan for a network of Long-Term Hydrologic Observatories (LTHOs), the Upper R¡o Grande would represent the combination of mountain landscapes, semiarid to arid alluvial basin aquifers and riparian corridors that are characteristic of the Western United States. We will describe existing hydrologic, ecologic and atmospheric measurement infrastructure in the watershed and discuss plans for integrating these into a coherent network that provides a core set of scientific data products for the hydrologic community. Data products generated by the Upper R¡o Grande LTHO will also aid in the testing of coupled numerical models of the atmosphere-surface-groundwater system applied at high resolution over the region. The Upper R¡o Grande presents unique opportunities to test hydrologic hypotheses concerning surface water-groundwater interactions and their control on runoff response, solute transport and reactivity, and riparian ecological communities

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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